Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mazatlan to Punta Mita

[GPS: N 20° 45' 50" W 105 ° 31' 16"]
We left Mazatlan at 11am Friday, just after the high tide – expecting about 28-30 hours to Punta Mita, just inside the NW corner of Banderas Bay. There was no wind for the first 11 hours, so we had to motor. We noticed our alternator was not charging the batteries! Belts turning… stop engine… belts tight enough… made sure connections to regulator were tight… restarted engine… thankfully working ok! Then just after dark (following a spectacular sunset!), the chartplotter shut down, and still had power, but would not restart with the charts. We would use the handheld GPS, and plot our position on paper chart every hour through the night. We had to pull out the GPS manual to figure out how to manage waypoints and routes. Finally at 10pm the wind came up enough to sail – and at 11pm it started it drizzle, so we put the transition up (between the dodger and bimini) to try to keep the cockpit dry. We decided to skip Isla Isabela (and expect to stop there on the way back north) – besides the trouble with the chartplotter, and the rain, we would be getting there about 2am. We alternated between sailing and motoring until 4am, and then were able to sail the rest of the way to Punta Mita. It continued to rain off and on, which was really rather nice, as our sails and rigging could use the cleaning.

As we turned east into Banderas Bay, we could see some large splashes in the water miles ahead. After watching for water breaking over exposed rocks coming around Punta Mita the first thing Cathy thought of was “give me the binoculars” and “are we going that far in tonight?” But wait a minute ...” I see a big black stick come up and then a huge splash... oh my gosh I think it’s WHALES!” We were too far away to really enjoy the show or get pictures, but the boats anchored out in La Cruz must have had a front row seat. The activity lasted about 30 mins.

We turned north and anchored in the lee of a resort and golf course. The largest islet off Punta Mita is part of the exclusive Four Season’s golf course and is the site of a 196 yard par 3 hole (#3) that is the only true island green in North America. When the tide is in #3A is played from its location on shore.

As we put the anchor down – another small problem – our windlass clutch was slipping a little. We checked various connections on the chartplotter hoping for another easy fix, but could not get it working again. So, we decided rather than going on south, we would take a detour into Paradise Village at Nuevo Vallarta and get someone to help us with these little issues. And enjoy the pool, local yacht club and food.

After a vodka and grapefruit juice, and a game of Mille Bornes, it was off to bed in the rolly anchorage.

No comments: